Everybody Has Nationwide Calling Plans But Me, Do You Believe That?

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate BRE #00697006

t-mobile regional calling planAlong with the upside of being a real estate agent and writing for a national web site such as About.com, there is also a downside. It's easy for consumers to find my telephone number. I could remove my cellphone number from my website, but what's the point? I want people to be able to call me. Especially home buyers and sellers in Sacramento.

Sometimes short sale buyers call me because they are frustrated with their agent or the way their transaction is going. It's hard for them to understand that a) as a REALTOR, I can't interfere in another agent's transaction and b) I don't know the laws and specifics to their state. I get calls from all over the country.

An agent called from the Midwest a few days ago. She left her phone number without leaving a message. I figured if it was important enough, she'd call back. Not only do I not return calls from people I don't know and have no reason to call -- they could be telemarketers, for all I know -- but I rarely call long distance.

That's because, believe it or not, I don't subscribe to a nationwide calling plan for my phone. I use T-Mobile's unadvertised regional plan, which gives me 3,000 minutes anywhere in northern California and Nevada. It costs $49 a month. That saves me about $2,000 a year. Over 10 years, that's $20,000.

When I travel, I pay roaming charges, but those fees amount to about $10. For me, it doesn't make sense to pay for a plan I rarely use. I guess I'm the odd duck out when it comes to cellphone plans, but it works for me.

Well, the agent in the Midwest did call back. The reason for her call was to ask me how she, as a brand new agent, could reach out to other agents in her community and perhaps network or form a support group. At first blush, I wondered why she was asking me that question. What did I ever write to inspire such a query?

Then it dawned on me. Of course. She should join the Active Rain community. Duh. I sent her a link and encouraged her to sign up. Active Rain is an invaluable resource for new agents and veterans alike. I receive emails and phone calls from Sacramento home buyers and sellers who read my blog on Active Rain and my outside blog at LandParkBlog.com. It's the best thing going on the web today!

sacramento agent

Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, columnist for The New York Times-owned About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout Sacramento. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you.

The Short Sale Savior
, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available in bookstores everywhere and at Amazon.com.


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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.


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Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Interesting post i do have a good cell plan and think it saves me money. Strange how we use different approaches to achieve the same goals

May 31, 2009 03:14 AM #1
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Elizabeth~ I wholeheartedly agree with you.  ActiveRain is wonderful in so many ways.  I have learned more in here than anywhere else.  By the way, I enjoy your articles on about.com You do such a great job!

May 31, 2009 03:17 AM #2
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA

Hey Elizabeth,

I have a good plan and sometimes it seems I can not even use what I am paying for......maybe I need to be busier!!!!!!

May 31, 2009 03:32 AM #3
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Hi Elizabeth... Since New Hampshire is a small state, we get a lot of folks coming up from MA.  It is important to have nationawide long distance in this case!  However, it is great you can keep your costs down in this fashion.

May 31, 2009 03:36 AM #4
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Some days my cell gets used over 100 times. . if I didn't have unlimited call. .I will paying trough the nose.

May 31, 2009 03:49 AM #5
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Good for you Elizabeth....we have to look at how we can keep our expenses down that's for sure.

Patricia Aulson/Portsmouth NH Real Estate

May 31, 2009 03:50 AM #6
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

You're getting jipped... i was on T-Mobiles plan for ONLY $39 a month, not $49 and it covered all of Texas and a 6 state radius going up, AND the first incoming minute was FREE.  I had free nights and weekends nationwide though, so that's when I returned those calls....

But, now I have vonage, and get free long distance on that phone.

May 31, 2009 03:57 AM #7
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hey Donna: Isn't everything in Texas cheaper? <<ducking and running>>

Actually, I think I get free evenings but I turn off my cell at 7 PM. I run about 2500 minutes a month, and I'm on the phone all the time.

sacramento agent

May 31, 2009 04:14 AM #8
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Great idea to have her join the ActiveRain community.  There is more accessible collective tribal knowledge dwelling in the heads of ActiveRainers, than most any place else I can think of in the real estate industry.   We're a real estate "think tank. 

May 31, 2009 05:50 AM #9
Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


No kidding about those telemarketers and the whole world getting your number. I can usually tell from the area code where it is coming in from. Sprint has a great service for $99 that allows you all the long distance, unlimited calls,text, and web. Since I cold call and do everything from my mobile it winds up being like 5500 minutes plus a month, and the incoming ones.

That was really nice of you to reach out and help her getting into some support like activerain. Then again, that's the quality of person you are, and it's no wonder because of that wonderful personality why the whole Sacramento County and beyond to the rest of the country has come to take stock in you. That great smile helps too my friend.

May 31, 2009 06:32 AM #10
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Hi Elizabeth, I think on the calling plans you have to pick the one that just makes sense for your patterns, plus you get the savings as you stated. My plan has rollover minutes from the previous month, so I built up a good buffer with them. Plus I have the data for the iPhone. Great you pointed that lady to Active Rain.

May 31, 2009 08:03 AM #11
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

I have always had nationwide calling and never thought about the possibility of not having it. I bet someone would calculate my usage to see the cost difference.

May 31, 2009 12:09 PM #12
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Hi Elizabeth ~ I don't know what we'd do without a long distance calling plan!  As relocation specialist here in Raleigh almost everyone we call is from out of town/state!  We use vonyage at home and Verizon for our cells.  Well worth the price for business and personal usage.

Jun 01, 2009 02:16 AM #13
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hey, you won't believe this but I just received my T-Mobile bill on Saturday. Low and behold, I exceeded my minutes last month. 3,052 minutes. First time that's ever happened. What are the odds? But still, the fees are less than a nationwide plan costs. It might behoove me at this point to upgrade. :) I'm not about to stop yakking.

sacramento agent

Jun 01, 2009 03:51 AM #14
Kelley Eling
RE/MAX - Novato, CA
Realtor Extraordinaire

We have AT&T, which includes long distance and roaming at no additional charge.  BUT they drop calls way too often.  Doesn't make a very good impression with clients that don't have AT&T themselves.  ;)



Jun 03, 2009 11:58 AM #15
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